Category Archives: Business Development

Top Online Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

The internet has thrown open a lot of opportunities for businesses, both big and small. But it is a big boon for small businesses who have limited resources and budget to spend on their marketing activities. These days there are several ways of promoting your products or services, but without a doubt, the online method is the most effective way of marketing them. However, it is important for small businesses to allocate their budget to campaigns that give them better results.

Even small online marketing budgets can produce great results. If you want to succeed on the online circuit, you should have a smart online strategy in place and know the right channels that deliver great results for your campaign.

Both traditional, as well as online marketing strategies, have similar goals and objectives. Both strive to increase brand awareness and improve conversions. But when it comes to a successful online marketing strategy, you need to be bang on from content creation and delivery to sales. And, if you falter in any one of these, you should not expect to get great results.

So, what is it that you need to do to make your online marketing strategy a success?

Here are the top online marketing tips which you should follow, more so if you run a small business.

Top online marketing tips for small businesses

If you want to increase your reach and boost your revenues, it is vital that you have a smart online marketing strategy. Follow these online marketing tips to improve your business prospects and climb the success ladder:

Don’t forget to target the right kind of audience for your brand – As the owner of the business, you need to know who and which is your target audience and market. It is no doubt one of the most basic online marketing tip for small businesses. If you don’t target your online activity to your audience, all your advertising money can go down the drain. You should know the people who will be interested in buying your product or service. Based on the nature of your product, you can carefully determine your target audience. Keeping in mind the age, gender, social position, and financial condition of your target audience, you can find out to whom you can offer your product or service.

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    Define your business goals and create a budget – It is vital for small businesses to define their business goals first and then create a budget. As the owner of the business, you already have to keep an eye on sales, expenses, cash revenues, KPIs, and profits. Add to your list of things digital advertising milestones. It is not too difficult to track results for your website on the internet. Once you decide on what you want to promote, you can work towards achieving your goal by considering various metrics like the total number of visitors, channel-specific traffic, bounce rate, and customer retention rate.

    When it comes to allocating budget to your online marketing activities, make sure that you select activities that complement each other and enhance the overall result. For example, SEO and content marketing can work well for your website. Discard the strategies that are not giving you positive results. You can even distribute small budget wisely so that it gives you the best results. The budget for digital marketing need not be a big constraint, what you need is careful selection of activities. Try to make materials that are multipurpose. You can also distribute social media and blog posts on different platforms with minimum tweaks which works out to be very cost-effective.

    Make sure you build a smart brand – Customers today are wise and smart, and unless you offer them value for their money, it is difficult for them to do business with you. That is what most of your competitors are doing on the internet. If your social media accounts are sitting idle and your website is poorly designed, it will create a negative impression on your audience. Ensure that your website is impressive and your social media accounts are active, and you should also respond to the comments on your social media account quickly. Half your battle is won on the internet if you can do smart branding.

    Also, ensure that you have a smart SEO strategy in place – You cannot think of an effective online marketing strategy without SEO. It is vital for businesses to rank high on the search engine results to improve your traffic, conversions, and sales. You should optimize the URL, add target keywords in your content, work on the local SEO, do proper link building, and write relevant blog posts to rank high on the search engine results. It is difficult to successfully climb the online marketing ladder without a smart SEO strategy in place.

    Don’t forget social media – The importance of social media should never be underestimated. If you have a small business, and you want to use the online medium for maximum returns, then you need to have an effective social media strategy in place. Social media is the place where you can interact with your customers freely and frankly. You can also use social media to build a strong relationship with your customers. Try to find out what your customers have to say about your product or service, take their feedback, and try to work on it so that you can satisfy your customers. This is also the best way to improve the experience of your customers.

    Pay attention to blogging – Blogs are an essential aspect of online marketing. You need to provide relevant, informative, and useful content to your customers. Blogging is one way that can help your readers know more about you and your product or services. If you keep writing relevant blogs, it can establish you as an expert in your specialty which, in turn, will promote your brand more effortlessly.

    Use email marketing to increase your traffic – Email marketing is yet another aspect of online marketing which you need to leverage to your advantage. Social media and blogging alone will not help you; you need to get in touch with your prospects and customers on a one on one basis. And, email marketing is the best available option to keep in touch with your customers and prospects. You can offer a subscription to all those who are interested in knowing about your upcoming sale, updates, and special discounts.

    Try to work out ways to get more local customers – Small businesses generally cater to the local audience. And, if you want to target your local audience, then make sure that you use Google Maps to your advantage. Provide your updated company details so that Google can track your business. Also, ensure that you have several positive customer reviews to attract local customers. You should also ensure that you publish local information on your blog which can include local news and gossips, hotel or restaurant reviews. You can also include geo-specific content where ever you can which allows people in a certain geographic location to see it first.

    Make sure to optimize your Google My Business page for local SEO – You can use Google Maps to make your business more visible. People now can locate your business by simply typing in the name of your brand on Google search which provides them with a map that can take them to your location by revealing the best route.

    You can use Google My Business to make your business more visible. You can get better rankings in the local search by optimising Google My Business page. With Google My Business page, you can also connect your YouTube account and keep your customers posted on your working hours as well as share images to brand your business. Also, you can use Google My Business to respond to the user reviews, handle adverse reviews, communicate with your customers, and do various other things.

    Make sure you use PPC advertising – Businesses that are just starting their operations should use PPC advertising. It is difficult for newbies to generate visitors organically. And, that is where PPC comes in handy. You can select keywords that are closely linked to your product and display your ads in the sponsored links of the search engines.

    Ask for online customer reviews and use it to your advantage – Online reviews can improve your search engine rankings. Customers on the internet have a habit of selecting products and services that boost rave reviews. This helps grow the reliability of your brand automatically. Positive customer reviews can also encourage other users to either buy from you or check out the details of your offerings. You should ask happy customers to leave a review about their experience. This can boost your search engine rankings and help attract more customers.

    If you want an effective online marketing strategy for your small business, you should get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now. vStacks Software Solutions has been in the digital marketing business for long, and we know what it takes to formulate an effective online marketing strategy.

    vStacks Software Solutions is a one-stop for all your digital needs. Whether you want a smart SEO strategy, climb the Local SEO ladder, or optimise your Google My Business page, we can deliver on all the fronts and make your online campaign a roaring success.

    Top Tips To Formulate An Effective Email Marketing Strategy


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      One thing that is essential for the success of every organisation is effective communication. If your communication is not perfect, it becomes difficult for businesses to climb the success ladder. And, in case you don’t communicate well with your customers and prospects, it affects your conversions and sales. Also, if your communication is not up to the mark, you cannot retain your customers for long.

      So, what is it that can help you communicate effectively with your customers and prospects?

      One of the most effective forms of communication known for a long time now is email. Be it your customers or prospects, business associates or partners, email is just the right medium that can effectively put across your message. Email marketing has remained a useful form of communication for long, and businesses who use it properly can reach out and convey their messages more effectively.

      Email users worldwide in 2017, according to Statista were 3.7 billion, which is set to reach 4.1 billion users in 2021.

      And, 269 billion is the total number of consumer and business email sent and received every day, according to the Radicati Group which is set to grow at an average annual rate of 4.4% in the next four years to touch 319.6 billion by 2021.

      An impressive growth to say the least.

      But, if you don’t have a spot-on email marketing strategy in place, it is difficult for you to reap the benefits it has to offer. It is not an uncommon scenario that we send emails to our customers and don’t get any response from them. It is difficult for us to find out whether they opened our email or just deleted it without even opening it.

      Not all email marketing campaigns are effective.

      So, what is it that is going wrong with your email campaign?

      Here are top tips that can make your email marketing campaign effective. But, before getting into the tips, let us try to find out the types of emails.

      Types of emails

      Broadly, there are three types of emails – marketing emails, transactional emails, and operational emails.

      Marketing emails – These are emails that are used to send promotional or informational messages. You send these messages to your prospects, customers, affiliates, vendors, reporters, etc. These messages can be in the form of newsletters, sales promotions, press releases, follow-ups, and announcements.

      Transactional emails – Automated emails that are triggered by the activities of your customers are known as transactional emails. Welcome messages, payment received messages, registration confirmation messages, order tracking messages, etc. are all transactional emails. These kinds of messages have a high open rate, and hence they are considered powerful messages. These types of messages offer plenty of opportunities for cross-selling and engagement.

      Operational emails – This type of email provides information about your business. For example, changes to your service availability, holiday closure, or routine maintenance plans. Operational emails generate trust, engagement, and thoughtfulness. These kinds of messages are informative, but you can use them to improve your image and boost sales. For instance, if you inform your customers about the kind of update you will perform during a regular maintenance shutdown of your services, it is nice way of letting them know that you provide them value as well.

      But, regardless of the type of email you send, you need to formulate an effective email marketing strategy so that it gives you the desired results.

      Here are top tips that can make your email marketing campaign effective.

      Top tips to formulate an effective email marketing strategy

      If you formulate your email marketing campaign effectively, then it can deliver great results. Here is what you should do to formulate an effective email marketing campaign:

      Try to understand your goals – Marketing campaigns, irrespective of its nature, should have goals that are attainable and sustainable. So, if you want to formulate an effective email marketing campaign, then try to anticipate what you have set out to achieve. Here are some of the email marketing goals:

      • Welcome your new subscribers by telling them about your business and try to build a relationship.
      • Cultivate your existing subscribers and offer them value.
      • Arrange a webinar to boost engagement.
      • Segment your subscribers and send targeted messages to your audience.
      • Engage with your subscribers who have not been active in the recent past.

      Make sure your subscriber list keeps growing – You need to ensure that your subscriber list keeps growing. Keep adding new customers and prospects to your list. One of the most effective ways of adding customers to your subscriber list is to add a signup feature on your website. You should add subscription forms everywhere – homepage, blog page, etc.

      There are traditional ways of adding customers and prospects to your subscriber list as well. As and when you attend a trade fair or industry conference, you can ask people to sign-up before picking up your newsletter.

      Inspire your readers to engage and reply – It is all about getting into a meaningful conversation with people who are interested in doing business with you. Just throwing information on your customers won’t do you much good, try doing the following things instead:

      Make sure that your subject lines are appealing and enticing – Try to find out what interests your customers and prospects, and then speak to them directly. Offer your readers interesting and unique stuff so that your email stands out in their inbox.

      Ensure that your message sounds real – Your customers should get the impression that a human is interacting with them and not a faceless machine.

      Get into a habit of sending targeted content – Make sure that you segregate your email users by reader demographics. When you send emails according to the interests and needs of your customers and prospects, the campaign is bound to have a more positive effect.

      Make your email personal – Wherever possible, add a personal component to your email. Use email tools that allow you to enter shortcodes which can then be replaced by the recipient’s name before sending out the message. Try to make the subject line creative, personalise the content, and add a name of the person who is sending the message. And, make it a point to reply promptly to those who respond to your email.

      When it comes to email marketing in today’s times, one size fits all is an outdated strategy. Segment your messages according to the needs and interests of your customers so that it is relevant to those who receive it.

      Make sure that your email messages are crisp and clean – Though we all know about this, still we tend to make this mistake more often than not. Write short paragraphs, and keep the content relevant. The use of pictures and images should be minimal. You cannot and should not replace content with pictures and images. You should also use bullet points to highlight your message. Your readers should be in a position to speed-read the content and absorb its highlight.

      Your subscribers should not find it hard to unsubscribe – Give your customers an easy option to unsubscribe. There is not much you can do if someone has decided to opt out from your mailing list. What you need to understand is you cannot and should not annoy your customers and prospects. Those not interested in your mail would anyway either delete it or mark it as spam.

      Your emails should always be mobile friendly – People these days are more on their mobile phones, and some even grab it as soon as they wake up in the morning. Therefore, if your customers and prospects cannot see your email on their mobile phones, then it is a big problem. Optimise your email so that your readers can conveniently view it on their mobile devices.

      Make sure that you add interesting links and exciting call to action – The purpose of your email campaign is to increase the number of visitors to your site. If people don’t click on the links and calls to action, then it means you are not getting the traffic. The purpose is to create more opportunities for engagement. What you need to do is add exciting calls to action and interesting links so that people engage more with your content. You can add conspicuous buttons like Avail the Discount, Download Now, Find More, etc., to make your content more engaging.

      Never overwhelm your customers – Don’t keep sending your customers emails one after the other. The point is not to annoy your customers. What you want from your campaign is positive engagement. Hence, don’t overindulge.

      Testing and tracking are important, don’t skip it – You need to ensure that what you send works properly. Before sending your messages to your customers, check it several times. Send it to your employees to test it. You can also test it on the internet. There are various tools available that will test your mail. You need to ensure that your personalisation shortcodes are working properly and that the links are opening as desired.

      It is also vital that you track your emails on how they are faring. Check out the email analytics for the click-through rates, open rates, forwards, and unsubscribes (your service provider will help you out on this). The process will help you improve your email campaign and will also give you an idea of how you are faring.

      Provide your customers value – Offer your customer’s something that sticks with them for a long time so that they can remember you for long. You can send your customers educational messages (industry related), operational messages (service related), or marketing emails (product related). Always make sure that you provide value to your customers.

      If you still find it difficult to devise an effective email marketing strategy, you can get in touch with vStacks Software Solutions now.

      vStacks Software Solutions has the necessary experience and expertise to formulate an effective email strategy for you.

      vStacks Software Solutions has been in the business of email hosting for years; hence we know what it takes to make your email marketing campaign a success.